There’s no denying just how incredibly powerful Adobe Lightroom has become in the last year. Lightroom’s AI tools and clever single-click masking can take your images to a whole new level.
In this excellent tutorial, Glyn Dewis shows you how to add your own background light to a portrait. Super useful if you only had one light available at the time, and it adds a whole new depth to the image. Not only that, but he shows you how to create that in a single click by making what he calls an ‘intelligent preset’.
Obviously, it’s always better to try to shoot this sort of thing in-camera if you can. However, that isn’t always possible. Previously you probably would have gone into Photoshop to edit this sort of thing, creating complicated masks and such. But now, you can do it all in Lightroom (or Adobe Camera Raw) and keep things non-destructive.
The tool to use for this is the radial gradient mask. Simply draw a circular gradient over the image where you want the light source to appear. Then adjust the exposure to taste. Of course, at this point, there is too much light on the subject as well, but here is where the magic happens.
Simply click on ‘subtract’ then ‘subject’, which cleverly places the mask behind the subject. It’s incredibly simple and yet so clever. Because it’s a mask, it will let you change the brightness, placement, and size of the light as well as the color should you wish.
Glyn continues to show you how easy it is to create a preset for this effect that you can then use for any image. Presumably, the same method would also work for any of the masks, for example, the linear gradient.
Have a look at the video. It’s incredible what can be done just with Lightroom these days, it’s fast becoming my favourite photo editor. I almost feel slightly guilty that I’m neglecting Photoshop!